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silver foil label with the Zinsco
Most Zinsco panels have this foil label inside

The Sylvania like the Zinsco had the blue and foil label inside and colorful red, blue and green breakers
Many Sylvania panels are actually Zinsco designs, they have this foil tag

Zinsco busbar arcing
This breaker has been arcing at the bus bars. 
click for a close up

Zinsco Electric Panel Hazards

If you have a Zinsco or Federal Pacific panel, please have it checked by an Electrician.  Always insist on a careful check or this critical component when ever you buy a home

The Zinsco panel is one of the most common brands of dangerous electrical equipment we see.  This company made many different types.  Most have this silver foil label with the Zinsco name, others are called Magnetrip, others have the Zinsco name stamped in the enclosure.  Never buy without an inspection, it could save your life. Really
See Cheryl's story here

Zinsco electrical equipment is known to be hazardous for several reasons. There is a problem with the bus bar and breaker contact points arcing and overheating. Overheating the electrical contacts on breakers can destroy the integrity of this important safety item. Many reputable electricians  won't service these anymore, and replacement is strongly recommended. They have been manufactured with aluminum bus bars with a clip on the breakers that make poor connections.

Arcing has been observed in where these breakers contact the bus. This can result in the overheating and incapacitation of the breakers. We observed these breakers have their cases blow out and leave soot on the inside of the enclosures.  Note the extensive soot inside this panel and inside the cover, this is a sure sign of overheating and is an extreme hazard.


These panels were also in later years manufactured by Sylvania. This is the Zinsco design and has the same reputation.  The Sylvania like the Zinsco had the blue and foil label inside and colorful red, blue and green breakers. With the same flawed breaker and bus bar connection design.  These panels are ones that we recommend replacement. 

Read more about these panels at google

We recommend that anyone with one of these panels have them replaced as soon as possible.

Home Inspections of Puget Sound

See our Home Inspection Newsletter for great articles on home maintenance and repairs

Zinsco panel fire hazard soot
Panel full of soot, charred insulation on the wires, an extreme hazard.  
Click for a close up
 Zinsco panel extensive soot in enclosure
Note the soot inside the cover,
Click for a close up
 Zinsco panel hazard soot markes from failed breaker
Another Zinsco enclosure with soot/char marks